A Lesson in War | Teen Ink

A Lesson in War MAG

September 24, 2009
By Hayden Lambert GOLD, Spring, Texas
Hayden Lambert GOLD, Spring, Texas
11 articles 0 photos 3 comments

I march along through the dense ­humidity of the summer day. My lawnmower is my faithful ally, ­assuring my victory in this war. However, nature's defenses refuse to let up. The thick air smothers me in sweat. The blades of grass stand tall and strong, a final act of rebellion against this weekly genocide. Nevertheless, my ally of steel and gasoline overwhelms these forces, and I soon savor victory's sweet taste.

With the remnants of fallen soldiers blown into the neighbor's yard and my lawnmower safely resting in the garage, I make my way into the kitchen to quench my thirst. My commander-in-chief greets me with an encouraging smirk.

“Now, don't you feel like you accomplished something?” my dad asks.

“I guess. But why can't I just mow the tall areas?” I reply.

“Because if it's worth doing, it's worth doing right.”

My eyes roll as I walk to my room. “Hey, we need to start mowing twice a week!” he calls after me.

For the next several months, the war between the grass and my willpower intensifies. Nature quickens its turnout of new soldiers. My red metal ally grows weary, and its gasoline stores deplete. Nature, sensing its chance, increases its resistance. The days grow more humid, the grass thickens, and the sun shines brighter, but I will not admit defeat. I know I can win this war. I must.

Sunscreen, insect repellent, and new tennis shoes join my forces. When it seems the bloodshed will never cease, my intelligence agent from the Weather Channel provides a ray of hope: the first cold front of winter ­arrives tomorrow. The war has ended. Sounds of celebration rise from my home and the war-torn regions of ­surrounding lawns.

The days following the war grow cold, and memories of the grueling battles fade. The school year commences, my teachers begin assigning work, and a new enemy fills my thoughts: group projects.

At the first briefing, I attempt to rally my troops. Low morale leads them to question my judgment.

“Why can't we just do our project the easy way?” they ask. “We know that we'll still get a good grade.”

I think for a moment and remember the words of my wise commander.

“Because if it's worth doing, it's worth doing right,” I reply.

The author's comments:
A Lesson in War is my response to a college essay requirement. The assignment was to write about the most influential person in my life and explain that influence. I chose my dad and the lesson he taught me on work ethic.

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This article has 3 comments.

on Nov. 7 2009 at 10:42 pm
This is an incredible piece. I love the metaphors and analogies. I laughed out loud several times. Delightful!!!

venicelady said...
on Oct. 2 2009 at 2:33 pm
accidentally clicked one star when rating this article. I meant to click 5 stars!!!!!

venicelady said...
on Oct. 2 2009 at 2:15 pm
A fresh, exciting take on a simple everyday subject. great reading